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Annapolis to Bermuda Race finally due to set sail again

Setting sail: the Annapolis to Bermuda Race is finally poised to get under way again today after a four-year wait

The Annapolis to Bermuda Race is finally poised to get under way again today after a four-year wait.

Eastport Yacht Club officials were forced to cancel the 2020 running of the biennial race because of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the closing of Bermuda’s borders the major contributing factor behind the decision.

It marked the first time since its founding in 1979 that the race was not held. While this year’s race was delayed by 24 hours owing to an unfavourable forecast, organisers are delighted to see the event return, with the 29 boats scheduled to race 753 miles down the Chesapeake Bay and on to Bermuda.

“We’re really happy to get the race going again this year,” A2B chairwoman Corinne Smith told the Capital Gazette website. “We wish there were more entries, but we have a very competitive fleet and a nice mixture of boats.”

Among the most notable vessels competing in the 22nd edition of the race is Pride of Baltimore II, captained by Jan Miles. “The primary purpose of Pride participating in this event is to celebrate the Annapolis to Bermuda Race. We’re thrilled to help raise awareness of this iconic race,” Miles said. “Sailing to Bermuda is something we’ve done in the past, but certainly not with a fleet like this. Obviously, the speculation is: how will Pride do in this race? We are all eager to find the answer to that question.”

Other notable entrants include Max, a Pogo 50 owned by Moritz Hilf, while Class 40 Graybeard, skippered by Clarke McKinney, is also expected to challenge. The Class 40 is a monohull specially designed for short-handed offshore sailing.

“Right now our full focus is on getting to the starting line,” said McKinney, a veteran professional with Quantum. “It’s been a long road and we’ve had to clear many hurdles to get to this point.

“This boat is quite a bit different than what we’re accustomed to sailing, so our learning curve is straight up. “This boat is awesome in heavy air out in the ocean. We’d love to have a day of 35-knot winds in reaching conditions because this boat will eat that up.”

There are five female skippers entered in the race, including Lynn McClaskey. This will be the third Annapolis to Bermuda for McClaskey, who steered her J110 Cimarron to second place in PHRF II class during the 2018 edition.

Another interesting entry is Leopolis, a Jeanneau 42 owned by Askold Sandursky. He and most of his crew are of Ukrainian descent and have been using the Annapolis to Newport Race to raise funds to provide humanitarian support to their war-torn home country.

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Published June 04, 2022 at 7:55 am (Updated June 04, 2022 at 7:55 am)

Annapolis to Bermuda Race finally due to set sail again

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